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Team Gelagotis viewed their Irish import Long Arm’s Australian debut at Flemington last month as an introduction to local racing with the view it would be his second run where he would demonstrate his ability.

Instead their lightly raced Irish import sat back in a fast run 1600 metres race at Flemington on December 19 and sprinted past his rivals to win the Benchmark 84 comfortably.

“We were viewing that run as his introduction to Australian racing. Nowhere on his CV did it say he could be winning at 1600 metres,” said his trainer Peter Gelagotis.

“His three runs had been 1800 metres, 2400 metres and 2500 metres. We just wanted to see him run on and then fire up at his next start over 2000 metres which is the race coming up on Saturday.”

Long Arm will contest the Benchmark 84 on Saturday at Flemington.

“We didn’t expect him to be that sharp and have that turn of foot. It was rewarding as we were focusing on the second start over 2000 metres at Flemington,” Gelagotis said.

“It’s a big thing to come here and adjust from being trained in the European style and he also has to acclimatise to Australian racing. It was a great introduction to Australian racing.”

Long Arm has how had four starts for wins at his first two starts before a fourth in a stakes race at Limerick before he was sold to a syndicate of Gelagotis clients.

The stable will aim him for the major spring races such as the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup.

“We’ll give him a month between runs. He’ll have three or four runs this campaign and then give him a break and bring him in about June for spring,” he said.

“We’ll enter him for the Cups and see whether he can get us there He’s got form which ties on with the Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment and also highly rated stayers such as Pondus and Nickajack Cave.”

Gelagotis said Jordan Childs who rode him to victory last month would retain the mount on Saturday.

Gelagotis said Long Arm had trained on well since his Australian debut.

“I’m happy where he is weight wise and the gallop he will have on Tuesday will tuck him up nicely. He’s lovely, sound and fresh,” he said.

 
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